Mark Tardi is the author of the book Euclid Shudders (Litmus Press) and two chapbooks: Part First––––Chopin's Feet (g-o-n-g) and Airport music (Bronze Skull). Recent poems have appeared in Chicago Review, Van Gogh's Ear, and the anthology The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Millenium. He was the 2009–2010 Fulbright Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Culture at the University of Łódź and continues to teach there, translate Polish poetry, and torture himself with clay-court tennis, devastating bike rides and undying support for the Chicago Cubs and Liverpool FC.
In Mark Tardi’s first collection of poetry, Euclid Shudders, there is a distinct vibration between objects and their words, as though each relation were poised on the precipice of its inverse: the pause before the cataclysm. In this weighted space, potential sounds hover as a last breath between inspiration, expiration, and the anticipation of nothing: ‘on a bridge/ emptied with intertia// so close// canopie jars from beneath.'
Mark Tardi’s poetry gives language back to that inanimate mass from which it, and we, originated. Every utterance is an act of configuration and every scribble traces a fleeting delineation between states of being and non-being. Tardi’s poems exhale from the apparently insensate and resign the animate to perpetual motion. In this universe of receding matter and pulsing energy, Mark Tardi sets out to locate those ‘unpronounced angles’ which make up the invisible but inextricable geometry of our lives.
Euclid might well shudder at how far the line has come. In his wonderfully unruly first book, Mark Tardi composes an isotopic realm of getting and letting go, a kind of chemical algebra of the alleged world as it verges into music.
Assemble its reciprocus
with a vacant knot blood silence
weathered in wire
antic pillars sunken skyward
the plastic velocity
folding sleep between two keys
some indistant auricle
identical orphan said with shorn eyes
The pivot chord is B which sounds as A in the new key of E. Folds of sleep between clouded and out loud. Its portion of night remains leaf-long and less than a foot away. A ladder of liquid. Or city forgetting to ask. Exactly like a statue. Old fires and profitable ghosts. A phrase worth repeating.